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Category: Philanthropy

Ability Central Awards Grants to 12 Organizations Working with Disability Communities

$1 million awarded for healthcare training, leadership and career development, and digital access initiatives.

Oakland, California – January 9, 2024 – Ability Central has awarded more than $1 million to 12 nonprofit organizations in California working to expand communication access for Deaf, disabled, and neurodivergent communities. Recipient organizations offer a diverse array of support and services to these communities. The funding priorities for this grant cycle focus on healthcare training, leadership and career development for people with disabilities within nonprofit organizations, and digital accessibility initiatives.

Eleven of the grants awarded were given to empower organizations to develop or expand their …

Ability Central Announces Second Year of Rapid Response Grants

Up to $5,000 available to enhance accessibility for individuals with communication disabilities

Oakland, California – June 30, 2023 – Ability Central, a foundation working to expand inclusion and accessibility for individuals with communication disabilities, today announced the availability of Rapid Response Access Improvement Grants. These grants, offered on a rolling basis from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024, aim to support California-based organizations and projects focused on serving people with communication disabilities.

The mini grants, first offered in 2022, range from $1,000 to $5,000, and provide short-term funding with an expedited turnaround of approximately one month from application receipt. Access Improvement …

Ability Central Awards Grants to 13 Organizations Working with Deaf and Disabled Communities

More than a million dollars awarded for tech innovation and accessible training

Oakland, California – December 20, 2022 – Ability Central, the only foundation exclusively funding communications access for people with disabilities, has awarded $1.03 million to 13 nonprofit organizations in California working to expand communications access for Deaf, disabled, and neurodiverse communities. The grants will support programs that focus on emerging technologies for accessibility solutions and communications training for professionals to create inclusive environments for their clients with disabilities.

“When people with disabilities can fully express themselves, it can transform their education, employment, and independence,” says Matt Cherry, director …

Watch “Everyone Can Communicate”, a new short film from Ability Central

One in six Americans has or will have a communication disability in their lifetime. So why don’t we know more about these disabilities and hear more about them?

Everyone Can Communicate, a new short film from Ability Central, features interviews with members of our board and advisory group. As people who have communication disabilities, they share unique insights into their experience of communicating in a system that is built to exclude them, addressing their fundamental rights to access that are often violated. As the only funder working exclusively to address all communication disabilities, Ability Central is proud to highlight …

Ability Central Announces 2023 Funding Cycle

More than a million dollars in funding available to California nonprofits serving people with disabilities

Oakland, California – May 31, 2022 – Ability Central today announced their 2023 funding year will focus on empowering nonprofits to implement innovative communication access projects aimed at creating equity for people who are Deaf, disabled, and neurodiverse and their communities of support. Now in its 11th year of grantmaking, Ability Central is the only foundation exclusively funding communication access projects for disability communities.

To meet the current needs of constituents, Ability Central is announcing two funding priorities for its 2023 annual grants: innovation

Ability Central 2021 Impact Report

Did you know?

In 2020-21, Ability Central’s grantmaking initiative supported organizations that served more than 56,000 people with disabilities, nearly doubling the amount served in our previous grantmaking cycle.

Keep reading to learn more about our programs and initiatives and discover meaningful stories from our grantees and clients about innovative projects benefitting people with disabilities.

Read the 2021 Impact Report.

What we’ve been doing

In 2020 and 2021, as complications from COVID-19 required ongoing adaptation and flexibility, we recognized this wasn’t business as usual. We expanded our philanthropic efforts to continue empowering our community as they supported vulnerable populations during …

Ability Central Announces Educational Access and Improvement Mini-Grants

$2,500 mini-grants available to create inclusive educational access for students with disabilities

Oakland, California – April 12, 2022 – To address issues of access to inclusive education exacerbated by COVID-19, Ability Central is offering a handful of small response grants to improve socio-emotional learning (SEL), communication access, and sensory development programs for youth (K-12) with disabilities.

Ability Central recognizes the pandemic continues to create a severe crisis for students with disabilities. Without access to their usual mode of education, children with disabilities are sliding backward, losing academic, social, and emotional skills.

As part of its philanthropic mission, Ability Central is …

Ability Central Awards Grants to 17 Organizations Working with Deaf and Disabled Communities

Illustration of a diverse group of people with disabilities.

More than a million dollars awarded for communications access

Oakland, California – January 5, 2022 – Ability Central has awarded grants totaling nearly $1.2 million to 17 nonprofit organizations in California working to expand communications access for Deaf and disabled communities. The recipient organizations offer a wide range of support and services for these communities, including development of new assistive technologies, speech therapy for children in low-income areas, disabled leadership development initiatives, and more.

“People with communication disabilities have an urgent unmet need for support communicating and accessing information,” says Matt Cherry, director of philanthropy at Ability Central. “As the …